Creating terrain? And prop textures

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Nightcrouser, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. Nightcrouser

    Nightcrouser L1: Registered

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    Im new to this so be gentle, couldnt find anything about this.
    Whats the best way to create terrain (as in dirst and grass), can you even do it in Hammer? AND can you change the textures of props in Hammer or do you HAVE to use another program?
     
  2. Uncuepa

    aa Uncuepa

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    Terrain is created using displacements, which is a fancy name for a brush that has had its sides turned into meshes. To create one for terrain (I suggest making a test file for this first time, until you know what to do) go to the Toggle Texture Application tool on the left, select the top of the ground, go to displacement in the Toggle Texture Application window and select "Create". A window will pop ask asking for a level, 2 is low poly but is good for testing and early versions of maps, 3 is good for polished maps and level 4 is pretty broken, and will crash things. I wouldn't use level 4. Then, use the paint geometry to add terrain height like bumps and hills, like you would see in game.

    To add grass/dirt to the terrain, search for 'blend' in the texture library, apply it to your displacement, and then use the "Paint Alpha" tool in the displacements tab to add grass/dirt. It will look really basic in Hammer, but if you used a blend texture with special gradients, when you compile it will look like proper grass/dirt.

    That's long and confusing, but I hope it helped!
     
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  3. Nightcrouser

    Nightcrouser L1: Registered

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    OH MY GOD, thats alot easier than the way i tried doing it, with the clipping tool. Thank you!
     
  4. henke37

    aa henke37

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    As for the question about changing model textures: no, but you can select a different texture set. The sets are called skins and are set by the model compiler.

    As for displacements, remember that they don't seal the map and require some care when being stitched together.
     
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  5. Muddy

    Server Staff Muddy Muddy

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    When I was new to Hammer, I tried using the clipping tool to make bumpy terrain too. And then I wondered why my compile times were so long...

    (Note: I didn't know what func_detail was either.)
     
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  6. killohurtz

    aa killohurtz Distinction in Applied Carving

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    I also want to point out that large, open areas of terrain work best when they're made of a grid of several square displacements rather than a few large ones/different shapes. If you keep them small and identical, then you can use several low power displacements to achieve the same look as a high power one, easily sew the edges together, and you won't have obvious seams in the blend texture due to misaligned vertices. Just select all of them before painting geometry/alpha to treat them as one.

    And like henke37 said, many models (like those that have red/blu variants) can be switched by setting 0, 1, 2, etc. as the Skin value.
     
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  7. henke37

    aa henke37

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    It's a subtle thing, but skins are sets of materials. One skin can use multiple materials.
     
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  8. ics

    aa ics http://ics-base.net

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    Regarding displacements, try to use power of 2, power of 3 on places where you need but never 4 or above.
     
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  9. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    There are power 4 displacements in Gorge. Is the issue something to do with the compile process that broke a few years back?
     
  10. Uncuepa

    aa Uncuepa

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    Yep. Apparently they updated hammer a few years ago and since then level 4 disps have been hellspawn. Crashes, error messages; just not worth it.
     
  11. killohurtz

    aa killohurtz Distinction in Applied Carving

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    I heard it's because power 4 displacements can crash the map if they interact with physics objects like ragdolls and stickies.
     
  12. Di Gorgonzola

    Di Gorgonzola L4: Comfortable Member

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    I'm pretty sure displacements with a power of 4 is perfectly fine, as long as they are pretty large (In Gorge every single displacement smaller than 512 x 512 is a power of 3 or smaller).
    IIRC it's all about the density of the vertices. If the density is way too high, calculating collision with physics objects will be too complicated and therefore results in a crash.
     
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  13. Tumbolisu

    aa Tumbolisu  I ⌄ I 

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2015